The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) awarded eight dairy buffaloes, all of which are considered matured and milking animals, to two accredited learning sites of Agricultural Training Institute-Central Luzon (ATI-CL) in Sta. Ignacia, Tarlac and Sta. Ana, Pampanga last April 10. This initiative aims to support local farmers and further boost the country’s milk production.
The PCC and ATI-CL, through a Memorandum of Agreement signed last year, collaborated for the assistance to the select learning sites, which include Ragsak Family Farm and St. Isidore “The Farmer” Learning Center Incorporated.
According to Veronica Concepcion Esguerra, center director of ATI-CL, this is a great opportunity to capacitate the learning sites and be engaged in buffalo dairy farming to create higher income for the farm owners and cooperators.
She added that this grant of water buffaloes also complements the aim of PCC to increase milk production in the country, as it is mandated to help small farmers to uplift their livelihood through derived products from buffaloes or carabaos.
Among the 70 accredited learning sites in Central Luzon, these two received buffaloes after complying with ATI’s evaluation requirements such as adequate facility and manpower to accommodate and nurture the buffaloes. Moreover, these farms practice modern agriculture utilizing various technologies.
Farm tourism/learning site recipients
The St. Isidore “The Farmer” Learning Center with Mr. Romeo M. Cordova as its cooperator is also an accredited farm tourism spot. It received three milking water buffaloes while Ragsak Family Farm, owned by Dr. Ronaldo A. Sumaoang, received five buffaloes.
Dr. Sumaoang expressed his gratitude to PCC and ATI. According to him, these buffaloes give him excitement to venture in this new enterprise. He wants to maximize the potentials of water buffaloes, including milk production and, later on, processing of dairy products.
“I already prepared myself in this venture and had planned some strategies to make this dairy buffalo production and management effective in my farm through the assistance of PCC at Central Luzon State University (PCC@CLSU)”, he averred.
The PCC@CLSU is the center in charge of necessary technical assistance in their area.
Dr. Daniel Aquino, PCC@CLSU center director discussed a few basic and pragmatic management practices needed for the buffaloes.
Dr. Aquino explained that the objective of the partnership of PCC and ATI-CL is to model the carabao-based enterprise development (CBED) program empowering dairy farmers, wherein buffaloes are granted for profit purposes and not to simply serve as farm pets.
These learning sites under ATI-CL were the second batch to receive water buffaloes from PCC. The first was awarded in Davao region.
The PCC and ATI-CL are currently working to establish more learning sites, including some of PCC’s potential ‘carapreneurs’ and progressive farms.